Saint Lawrence Patron Saint of Accountants, archivists, cooks and comedians

Before taking my Elderhostel group into the Guildhall I went into St Lawrence Jewry for the first time in a few years. I read the guidebook and was amazed I have not used some of the information on St Lawrence in my guided tours before. I think this is because I began taking guided walks around here when I was deeply imbued with the current archeaology of the City - attributes of Saints was not very interesting.

But, what I had not realised was that St Lawrence was the Treasurer for the Church in Rome and when, during the third century reign of Valerian he was asked to collect together the treasure of the Church in Rome- he brought before the authorities a group of paupers and cripples and said ' here is the treasure of Rome'. He was, according to tradition, burnt on a gridiron, and is said to have said: 'I'm done on this side - turn me over'. In fact the normal form of execution was beheading. However, it is a good story and so he became the patron saint of accountants, archivists, cooks and comedians!

The church, originally by Wren, was rebuilt after the war in Wren style but with stained glass windows and other non authentic fripperies. It is beautifully kept and is now the Lord Mayor's Church.

The attribution to Lawrence is interesting as the Church is built by the South entrance into the Roman Amphitheatre in Roman London and it has been suggested the original was built using the stone work of the entrance. St Lawrence is one of the best attributed early saints and it might just be possible that there was an early church here.


Anonymous said…
So was St Lawrenc ethe first VATican COLLECTOR ?

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